Dodging rain, the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion team fell twice this past weekend.
Post 218 (24-5) fell Sunday in games to Festus, 3-2, and Jackson, 3-1, in Festus.
“The day was eerily similar to last year,” Post 218 Manager Mike Gardner said. “Festus won in a walk off, and we lost to Jackson. As they say history repeats itself, so we will need to rebound in Blue Springs and carry it on through the districts, zone, and state tournaments.”
The losses were Washington’s first since falling 3-2 to Eureka June 9.
On Saturday, Washington was leading New Baden, Ill., by a 4-0 score in Ste. Genevieve before rain came and washed out the rest of the contest. The other scheduled game against Murphysboro, Ill., was also called off.
Post 218, which secured the Ninth District regular season championship last week with three wins (17-0 in the league), heads to Blue Springs Wednesday to play in the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament.
The defending tournament champions will be looking to reverse their fortunes after suffering their first losing streak of the season.
Washington’s pool games in Blue Springs are:
• Wednesday against Rod’s Sports A’s at Jim Moran Field (Hidden Valley Complex) at 5 p.m.;
• Thursday at Blue Springs South against the Omaha Post 1 Vikings at 3 p.m.;
• Friday at Hidden Valley Field 1 against the Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates at 10 a.m.; and
• Friday at Jim Moran Field against Elsberry at 3 p.m. That game also will count as the final district game for Post 218.
After returning, Washington will be gearing up for the Ninth District Tournament. Gardner reports there will be North and South Division brackets unless another team drops out of the postseason. Sullivan already has dropped out of the district tournament.
Should another team drop out, there would be one eight-team bracket with the tournament winner and Washington (regular season winner) going to the Zone 1 Tournament in Moberly.
Otherwise, the two bracket winners will qualify for the Zone 1 Tournament.
Post 218 renewed its rivalry with Post 253 Sunday afternoon with another close game.
The two teams played for the 2011 state championship with Festus winning the title. Washington won the state crown last season.
In Sunday’s game, Festus scored first, getting a run in the bottom of the second.
Washington took the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth, but Festus won it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We looked a little tired and just really could not get the bats going against Festus,” Gardner said.
Offensively, Washington was limited to three hits in the game with Trent Leimkuehler, Sam Katzung and Jack Kopmann hitting singles.
Kopmann added a sacrifice while Leimkuehler and Katzung were hit by pitches.
Grant Eckelkamp and Kopmann also drew walks.
Defensively, Washington turned one double play as well.
Justin Schuler started on the hill for Washington and allowed one run on seven hits and one walk over five innings. He struck out four batters.
Tyler Tuepker relieved and pitched one inning.
“Justin Schuler was on the mound and gave us a strong five innings of work,” Gardner said. “We pulled him only because we want him to be fresh for Blue Springs and we wanted to get Tyler Tuepker an inning of work.”
Trent Leimkuehler relieved in the seventh and got one out, but allowed two runs on two hits and one walk to suffer the loss.
“We also wanted Trent to close the game in order to keep him and Matt sharp as our closers,” Gardner said. “Unfortunately the plan did not go the way we wanted. Trent had a little trouble finding the strike zone and then we misplayed a fly ball that should have been caught. It was a tough loss to a good team, but we really did not look like ourselves.”
Post 218 also lost in the day’s second game to Jackson, 3-1.
Jackson scored first, pushing three runs across the plate in the top of the third inning.
Washington scored its run in the bottom of the sixth.
“We missed some opportunities to score against Jackson and they took advantage of their one opportunity,” Gardner said.
Zach Pointer went six innings on the hill for Post 218, allowing three runs on nine hits. He struck out two.
Matt Jones pitched the seventh, walking one and striking out one.
“Zach Pointer gave us 6 good innings of work on the mound,” Gardner said. “As planned Matt Jones pitched a scoreless seventh inning.”
Offensively, Jones and Luke Hasenjaeger each had two hits.
Hasenjaeger also scored the Post 218 run.
Katzung doubled and drove in Washington’s run.
Eckelkamp had one hit and a walk.
Kopmann singled while Dilan Bollmann walked twice.
Jackson managed nine hits in the game, including one double.
Post 218 was on the way to winning Saturday in Ste. Genevieve over New Baden, Ill., Saturday, when rain intervened.
The storm was heavy enough to wash out the rest of the day’s action.
“We only played a couple of innings and were winning 4-0 against New Baden before the rain came,” Gardner said. “It rained really hard for an hour or more and the field was unplayable.”
Washington scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the first inning. Eckelkamp, Kopmann, Jones and Schuler all crossed the plate. Katzung and Ben Huffman recorded RBIs.
Post 218 had three hits and four walks. Eckelkamp, Kopmann and Huffman singled. Eckelkamp, Leimkuehler, Schuler and Katzung walked.
Eckelkamp and Leimkuehler stole bases in the game.
Hasenjaeger was on the mound for Washington and he allowed one hit over two innings while striking out one New Baden batter.